Saturday, March 23, 2013

Cajun/Creole Chicken Pasta


It is Saturday afternoon.  I spent an hour cruising the web looking for something new and interesting that my family might enjoy for lunch.  I found the following recipe on the Pioneer Woman blog.  Here is her recipe with my adaptations (in bold), as I was missing a few ingredients, and as it didn't seem to want to thicken properly. 


As I haven't done much with the cajun or creole flavor, this recipe caught my eye, and it was quite an enjoyable new taste for us.  This really exceeded my expectations - even my most picky eater told her sister, "it isn't that bad," and then she forgot herself and said, "these noodles are way better than I expected" - me too.  
  

Cajun Chicken Pasta
Yield - 12 Servings

  • 6 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, Cut Into Cubes (I use Costco frozen, boneless, skinless - 2 minutes in the microwave to start the defrost, and it makes them easy to cut)
  • 1-2 Tablespoons Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning or Cajun Spice Mix, +/- To Taste
  • 1 pound Fettuccine
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1 whole Orange Bell Pepper, Seeded And Sliced
  • 1 whole Red Bell Pepper, Seeded And Sliced
  • ½ whole Large Onion, Sliced
  • 3 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 4 whole Roma Tomatoes, Diced (or 1 can of diced tomatoes - drained) 
  • 2 cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth
  • ½ cups White Wine or Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1 cup Heavy Cream
  • 2 Tablespoons Corn Starch
  • Water
  • Cayenne Pepper To Taste
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper, To Taste
  • Salt To Taste
  • Chopped Fresh Parsley, To Taste

Preparation Instructions

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain when pasta is still al dente; do not overcook!  Set aside.

Sprinkle 1 1/2 teaspoons Cajun spice over chicken pieces. Toss around to coat. Heat 1 tablespoon oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a heavy skillet over high heat. Add half the chicken in a single layer; do not stir. Allow chicken to brown on one side, about 1 minute. Flip to the other side and cook an additional minute. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a clean plate. Repeat with remaining chicken. Remove chicken, leaving pan on high heat.        (I used a 12 inch cast iron pan, and got it all in one try, but my chicken didn't cook quite so quickly, and didn't blacken - just make sure it is cooked through even though later on you'll be putting in back on the heat for a few minutes, later on).


Add remaining olive oil and butter. When heated, add peppers, onions, and garlic. Sprinkle on remaining Cajun spice, and add salt if needed. Cook over very high heat for 1-3 minutes, stirring gently and trying to get the vegetables as dark/black as possible. Add tomatoes and cook for an additional 30 seconds. Remove all vegetables from the pan.

With the pan over high heat, pour in the wine/vinegar and chicken broth. Cook on high for 3 to 5 minutes, scraping the bottom of the pan to deglaze. Reduce heat to medium-low and pour in cream, stirring/whisking constantly. Cook sauce over medium-low heat for a few minutes, until cream starts to thicken the mixture. Taste and add freshly ground black pepper, cayenne pepper, and/or salt to taste. Sauce should be spicy!

(I could not get my sauce to thicken - it remained a watery consistency, so I added 2 T. corn starch to cold water (1/2 cup or so), and stirred until smooth, and then added the hot sauce to my corn starch mixture and stirred to create a thick paste, then added it all back into the sauce).

Finally, add chicken and vegetables to sauce, making sure to include all the juices that have drained onto the plate. Stir and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until mixture is bubbly and hot. Add drained fettuccine and toss to combine.
Top with chopped fresh parsley and chow down! 

Approximately 319 calories per serving

1 comment: